Fact Sheet - New Emory / Tech Nanotech Center

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Lisa Grovenstein
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More info on the new Emory-Tech Nanotech Center

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More info on the new Emory-Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Center for Personalized and Predictive Oncology.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health has selected Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology as one of seven National Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE). The new center will be named the "Emory-Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Center for Personalized and Predictive Oncology," and will be housed in the Winship Cancer Institute (WCI) of Emory University and on the Georgia Tech campus. The amount awarded is $3.66 million for the first year, and is expected to reach $19-20 million over a five-year period.

· The center's overarching scientific program is to develop bioconjugated nanoparticles and biomarkers for cancer molecular imaging, molecular profiling, and personalized therapy. Its mission is to harness the power of nanotechnology to reduce the burden of cancer on our patients and families. Translational research will focus on human prostate and breast cancers and their clinically aggressive phenotypes such as bone metastasis, but the cutting-edge technologies to be developed in the center are also applicable to many other types of malignant tumors such as lung cancer, colorectal carcinoma, ovarian cancer, brain tumors, and leukemia.

· The center is organized into six "synergistic projects" with cross-disciplinary teams for each project composed of basic nanotechnology/biocomputing research and development engineers from four Georgia Tech academic schools (biomedical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, materials science and engineering, and chemistry and biochemistry), and physician-scientists, oncologists, and PhD basic scientists from seven medical school departments (pathology, radiology, urology, pharmacology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and medical and surgical oncology).

Project 1 - Development of targeted quantum dots and biodegradable nanoparticles for cancer molecular imaging - PI: Shuming Nie, PhD, Co-PI's: Lily Yang, MD/PhD and Hui Mao, PhD;

Project 2 - Novel molecular beacons and activatable nanoparticle probes for gene expression studies of cancer cells - PI: Gang Bao, PhD, Co-PIs: Barbara Boyan, PhD and Leland Chung, PhD;

Project 3 - Nanotyping - translation of multicolor quantum dots to multiplex cancer therapeutic target protein biomarkers that predict choices of treatment and clinical outcome in medical oncology - PI: Jonathan Simons, MD, Co-PIs: Ruth O'Regan, MD, Milton Datta, MD and Lawrence True, MD - University of Washington;

Project 4 - Raman spectroscopic nanotags and atomic nanoclusters for molecular profiling of cancer - PI: Michael Natan, PhD, Co-PIs: Andrew Young, MD, Shuming Nie, PhD, Robert Dickson, PhD, and John Petros, MD;

Project 5 - Nanotherapeutics - development of a new class of self-assembled and biodegradable nanoparticles for cancer drug delivery and targeting - PI: Dong Shin, MD, Co-PI: Georgia Z. Chen, PhD;

Project 6 - Cancer biology and basic discovery using new bioconjugated nanoparticles to target aggressive cell clones of prostate cancer and their bone stromal environments - PI: Dr. Chung, Co-PI: Dr. Bao.

• The synergistic CCNE projects are supported by five cores drawn from the engineering faculty of Georgia Tech in four departments (biomedical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, materials science and engineering, chemistry and biochemistry) and the shared core facilities of the WCI.

Core 1 - Nanomaterials Synthesis and Fabrication (Director - Zhong Lin Wang, PhD). This is a "super core" located on the Georgia Tech campus, and will develop advanced nanomaterials for use and validation in the CCNE. Dr. Zhong Lin Wang is one of the most cited scientists and engineers in the world, and is widely recognized for his contributions to nanomaterials synthesis and characterization.

Core 2 - Biocomputing and Boinformatics (Director - May Dongmei Wang, PhD). This "super core" is also located on the Georgia Tech campus, and is supported by two IT industry leaders - Hewlett Packard Corp (Palo Alto, CA) and Microsoft Research (Redmond, WA). Its main functions are to develop innovative and state-of-the-art tools and infrastructures of biocomputing, to integrate all projects and cores in the CCNE for novel discovery and application of nanotechnology to oncology, to carry out cutting-edge research in "bio-nano-info", and to interface with the NCI Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (CaBIG). As applauded by the NCI review panel, Dr. May Dongmei Wang has an excellent track record in research and development in biocomputing and bioinformatics, and has played a key role in the development of the Emory/Georgia Tech CCNE.

Core 3 - Tissue Specimens and Animal Models (Director - Milton Datta, MD). This core functions as the main repository for patient specimens and annotated data, and provides critical support for animal studies in the areas of animal surgery, necropsy, specimen processing, and histopathology.

Core 4 - Onconanotechnology Education and Outreach (Director - Dr. Simons). The major functions of this core are to provide state-of-the-art understanding of the applications of nanotechnology to students, physicians, clinical investigators and basic scientists as well as to the general public.

Core 5 - Center Administration, Technology assessment, and Commercialization (Director - Dr. Nie). The core will provide leadership, fiscal stewardship, coordination, and general administration of all activities related to the Emory-GT CCNE. It will be responsible for integrating the diverse scientific disciplines to advance cancer nanotechnology, for translating these advances into new therapeutic opportunities and for ensuring compliance of the projects and cores with general, governmental, and specific NCI regulations and requirements.

· A corner stone of this center is the joint Georgia Tech/Emory Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), a unique academic unit that was established in 1997 with Dr. Don Giddens as its founding chairman, and has rapidly risen to its current #3 ranking in the nation (US News & World Report, 2005 Graduate Program Rankings). In addition to this CCNE grant, this public-private partnership has led to several large-scale NIH awards (totaling $21 M) to Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, including a P20 award to develop nanoparticle probes for molecular and cellular imaging (PI -Nie), a Bioengineering Research Partnerships (BRP) award to correlate biomarkers with prostate cancer behavior (PI - Nie), and a U01 center award to develop nanotechnology for molecular analysis and detection of cardiovascular plaques (PI - Bao). In addition, the Winship Cancer Institute has been awarded an NCI P20 planning grant (PI - Simons), which is the first step in attaining the State of Georgia's first-ever Comprehensive Cancer Center designation.

• The center is supported by strategic alliances with two NCI Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORES), one in breast cancer at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) and the other in human prostate cancer at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA). It will also be supported by collaboration with two NCI Comprehensive Cancer Centers, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA) and the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center (Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD). The CCNE is further strengthened by partnerships with non-profit /government organizations (e.g., the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), with bio/nanotechnology companies (e.g., Beckman-Coulter, Applied Biosystems, Crystalplex Corp, Nanoplex Technologies, and CRI), and with biocomputing industry leaders (e.g., Hewlett Packard Corp and Microsoft Research).

· The CCNE also will serve as a new training center for the next generation of translational cancer scientists and biomedical engineers at both Georgia Tech and Emory. A new culture of nanotechnology and bioengineering in cancer research can shape how cancer center faculty attack research at the bench and bedside, and concurrently, engineering scientists will become "oncologists" with a deeper understanding of cancer genomics, cancer biology and unmet clinical needs.

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  • Created By: Lisa Grovenstein
  • Workflow Status: Draft
  • Created On: Oct 3, 2005 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:02pm